T.A.T.-Part 2----OK TO OR

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Doug329, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Doug329

    Doug329 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
    This is my 1st Ride Report, bear with me..will probably make some mistakes, but at my age, I've done plenty before.

    We started the T.A.T. last August. I did a Google based blog and it worked out fine, but the ride report will get to a lot more people.

    If you'd like to read what we did, and see the pictures, follow this link: http://tat-trip-2010.blogspot.com/2010/08/introduction.html

    This link takes you to the Introduction page. One the far right edge, is a list of all the reports, by date. Start at bottom, and just click on each day. Sometimes I've seen it where you can just scroll from day to day, other times, you have to go back and click each day...

    Okay, 2011. On Monday August 8, my friend Brooks and I (Doug) loaded the bikes in the truck, and headed towards B-ville,Bartlesville) OK. This is the closest "city" to where we ended last year.

    Made it to Econo Lodge in Bartlesville about 5pm on the 9th. The 3rd member of our group,(Rich, a/k/a Columbus) (you'll have to read last years adventure to learn how we named him that), had left home on his bike (2010 Honda XR650L) and would meet us here tonight.

    Other bikes: Doug- 2008 KLR 650, Brooks 2003 BMW Dakar 650
    We're all running Dunlop D606's on rear, Brooks and I have them on front also, Rich has a Metzler Unicross.

    I attached a picture of Rich, getting ready to load up at Econo Lodge. Haven't figured out how to attach more than one photo, so will do next few days ASAP and add more pictures.




    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,310
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    Get going Amigo.......:lurk Cannot wait for your RR:clap
    #2
  3. mrprez

    mrprez KJ4WMZ

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,265
    Location:
    Mobile, Al
    Oh good another TAT ride report I can read before I go. Put your pictures over on Google Picasa and link to them in your report.
    #3
  4. Doug329

    Doug329 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
    Will try the photo link idea with Picasa
    Thanks,
    Doug
    #4
  5. Doug329

    Doug329 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
    Well I tried Picasa, and up loaded 40 pictures, then hit wrong button, thinking I was removing one, and wiped out two hours of work. Will try again tonight. Just have gotten behind due to long days. Will do the narrative now, and up load a lot of pictures ASAP.

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5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:shapedefaults v:ext="edit" spidmax="1026"/> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:shapelayout v:ext="edit"> <o:idmap v:ext="edit" data="1"/> </o:shapelayout></xml><![endif]--> Wednesday 8-10-11, day of departure.
    Most of the night, we were aware of thunder and lightning all around us. Rain was heavy at times. At 6AM, we decided to sit tight for a few hours to let the storm system pass through. Having a netbook along is a nice luxury, having Weatherbug or similar site to watch live radar is even better.
    By 11AM, it had cleared around Bartlesville, and we only had to dodge one small system between us and our destination, Alva, OK.
    We had unloaded the bikes the night before, now we loaded them up, drove across the street to top up tanks, and head out.
    We drove North on 75 about 6 miles, and picked up the East-West path of the TAT. The roads now were gravel, and fairly hard packed. There were a few spots where vehicles had made decent sized ruts in the softer sections, but we were doing okay.
    We passed a beautiful wildlife preserve, noticing all the birds out enjoying the freshly fallen rain puddles. The cranes were all “fishing” in the ponds. Mother Nature was happy.
    We started to notice the gravel roadbed was now softer. The top appeared to be just fine gravel, but immediately underneath was a layer of red mud/clay. We learned rather quickly to stay away from the shoulders that looked hard and dry and ride in the vehicle tracks that had been recently made. The heavier vehicles had squished the mud out and left a more solid base, although it was wet and made for mud spray that would escape the protection of the front fender, and blow back on your boots, legs, and front area of bike.
    We were now on a much higher section of ground, like a small mesa, and passing a large Prairie Grass area. We had some light rain off and on the past hour, but the sky’s once again cleared, and it appeared the worse part of the storm had gone to our North.
    With no rain in site to the West, we stopped and took off the rain gear. Rich and I took a few pictures of the plains and our muddy bikes, and we were off again.
    The light breeze and sun dried the roads quickly, and they got better and better as we moved Westerly. We were happy campers to be out of that slippery, sticky red clay. I honestly don’t think we encountered a single vehicle all afternoon. I started calling this part of Oklahoma the “quilt State”, as the sections on a map are all the same size, like the pieces of a quilt. Exactly a mile square. Every mile, you have an intersection to pass through. Most have no Stop or Yield sign, just slow down look both ways (you can usually see ½ mile), and keep going. What does change many times, is the road. One section will be gravel, then maybe a section of dirt, then hard base stone, the back to gravel. On the dirt sections, I started to see the tracks of a single lone motorcycle. It was sporting a rear tire like a D606, so it was easy to identify. No doubt he was on the TAT, as he made every turn on the route sheet. Then all of a sudden, I saw two tracks. One on each side of the road. Who was the mystery rider, and why did he just catch up to number one? Well we soon found out. We came to a sudden stop, facing a Bridge Closed sign. The single riders tracks turned around, and went back to the last intersection, just like we were about to do. The jog around was easy, especially with a GPS, and we kept moving.
    We rolled into Alva about 7:30PM, due to the delayed rain start.
    We had ridden 221 miles for the day, and bikes and us were mud covered, so a quick trip to car wash was in order, after check-in.
    Before leaving Bartlesville, I had called the motel listed on the map, but they were full except one room, which could not accommodate the three of us. Owner recommended another place nearby. I called the Ranger Inn, and booked us a large room.. so we pull into the Ranger Inn, BIG sign out front has three lines below name, 1<sup>st</sup> says “Luxury rooms”, then “Jesus is Lord”, last, “Wi-Fi” . Now the people were very nice, but I do have problems with misleading or false advertising. The 1<sup>st</sup> was nonexistent, the last re: Wi-Fi, yes they had it, but signal was so week, I couldn’t get on in the evening. In the morning, I did connect. No coffee in the rooms, so I walked over to office, no coffee or “breakfast” either. We ventured across the street to a new Bistro, and had a good breakfast..
    Plenty of small motels in Alva, so call around if you can’t get into Western Motel (listed on TAT map).

    Attached Files:

    #5
  6. Doug329

    Doug329 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
    OK..finally got a bunch of photos uploaded. Just follow this link to Picasa and click on TAT 2011. I've tried to put a caption under each. I attempted to have album save pictures in order taken, but of course it didn't. I'll be adding to the album real soon.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/117572939815158661085/TAT2011?authuser=0&feat=directlink

    added 8-25-11: I've had tons of problems with Picasa (above link). Have opened a photo-bucket album, and have gotten 105 photos up loaded so far. Haven't had time to caption yet. Here is the link to photo-bucket:http://s1220.photobucket.com/albums/dd454/Doug329/



    Thanks,
    Doug
    #6
  7. Doug329

    Doug329 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
    We left Trinidad about 0820AM...Sam warns on map, start early (7am), long day. Remember, Sam is always right.

    We get about 10 miles, and decide to check Brooks rear tire, which was fine at motel before leaving. Not good, nail we thought was all out, has now emerged it's ugly head. Apparently some was still in tire. Brooks pulls remaining 1/2 inch out. Slime immediately appears, but appears to seal hole. Top up air, and decide to ride 5 more miles and recheck.

    Recheck, very soft, nail has apparently enlarged hole in tube. Time to change. We find a nice shade tree to work under. Takes just about an hour to change, clean-up, and be ready to roll again.

    We start climbing elevation. Good gravel roads, good average speeds (40-45mph), making good time. Lots of cattle guards, open range areas. Many cows, the western road hazard. Slow down, go slow. Most will wander away from road shoulder, a few will stand ground, and may enter road as you approach. If the "cow" has horns, sometimes called Bull..be careful, they may charge..use caution.

    Road changes from gravel to almost bedrock base in parts. Dry but HARD riding surface. Beautiful rock formations. We're in 7k foot elevation areas, Aspen trees, pines, cedar. The smells are wonderful.

    Get into some moderate technical areas, uphill, narrow one lane, rocky road. Slow, but steady going. Mid afternoon cloud passing overhead. This is a daily thing in CO. Starting to mist heavy, put on rain jackets.

    Road is now reddish clay/gravel...wet, no dust. A little slippery. Again, another area of San Isabel National Forest. Starting to see some signs of camp sites (it's Saturday, the weekend). We also encounter some on-coming traffic today. First rule in mountain...KEEP RIGHT. You never know what's around the blind curve. Murphy's Law, approaching vehicle will be around next blind bend.

    We start a slow, maybe 10 mile down grade, with many switchback turns. Road is wet, and now full of washboard effects. Maybe 5 miles into section, I don't see Rich's headlight after last couple of bends...I pull over to wait for him to catch up. 20 seconds, no Rich, I turn back, meet him in 1/4 mile. He explains back end slid out on one of the curves. No major damage. Good riding gear saved his hide, side cases and barkbusters saved the bike...just some scratches and slight spring in cases, mounting rack.

    We continue to hard road. This takes us to next dirt section of TAT. Rain was brief, and stopped now, but time is getting late. We vote to cheat a little and head directly to Salida via super slabs so we get in at reasonable time.

    We check into Super 8 at 630PM...all very tired and sore. 238 miles, and we skipped last section. Super 8 has a pool, and three hot tubs. Boy do they do wonders for us. Lucky when I called this AM, they gave us their last "family room", three queen sized beds. Place is not new, but well maintained. Staff is super nice. They have laundry which we use. Pool and hot tubes we use. Decent breakfast. Price is more than fair considering this is a big tourist area, and summer. We like it so much, we're going to stay Sat night, then explore on Sunday, (take a rest day??), then continue to Ouray, CO on Monday.
    #7
  8. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,784
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Waiting for more!
    #8
  9. Doug329

    Doug329 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
    First I have to insert the "proper" link for the photo album: https://picasaweb.google.com/117572939815158661085/TAT2011?authuser=0&feat=directlink

    Now, on with the story.

    We had cut off the TAT yesterday, so we could make it to motel at decent hour. Now, it was time to back track to Cotopoxi and pick up TAT where we left off.

    First few miles were paved, and I'm thinking maybe this isn't best way to wear my tires (much prefer dirt)..but after a few more miles, changed to dirt/gravel. This road meandered through one scenic valley after another as we slowly kept gaining in elevation. The lush green fields supported cattle and a few horses. Many small ranches along the way. Saw the usual small ground squirrels, a small mule deer, 3 small prong horns. When you're leading the pack, you see the most wild game.

    As we got to the higher elevations, the road now hugged the side of the mountains. The road is cut into the slope, and follows the contour of the mountain, kind of connecting one with the next. Lots of great photo opts. Road was good all the way, with only a few minor tech spots from washouts, where you needed to stand on the pegs to maintain good control.

    We eventually came down the mountain in a long series of switch backs. I'll try to post one picture on this page of a sign, on the way down. I got a chuckle out of it. We had been coming down grade for maybe five miles, no special signs. Then this one...No kidding, do we have a choice? No guard rails, and a sheer drop off if we don't "obey" the sign..like I said, "do we have a choice?"

    So we get back to motel (The great Super 8), about 12:45pm. Time for a snack and short rest before afternoon adventure.

    About 3pm, we figure we best get moving again (this is a rest day?). Our destination is Hancock Pass. We have read all the ride reports this season, seen the pictures, and know Sam has removed this pass from the TAT, but what the heck, we have to find out for ourselves.

    We travel paved roads for a while, then enter the National Forest area, and the road changes to hard dirt,gravel. Another five miles, and it starts to narrow. Now maybe a lane and a half wide, but easy riding. Past a few old gold/silver mines (pictures will be updated to album tonight), and another turn (just follow the signs for Hancock Pass), onto a single lane trail. Get to kind of a trail head, and the last little sign pointing left "Hancock Pass". This is where the FUN begins. Nothing but pure rocks. Medium size, and not glued into the base with clay. Most are loose. We go in about 300 feet, and there is a 120 degree, uphill turn to the right. Looks serious, so we send Rick (a/k/a Columbus) ahead to check it out. Age has it's privileges, send the kid out first.

    A short time later, he returns and reports that this part appears to be the worst. So off we go. Oh, forgot to mention. Before starting up, four ATV and UTV riders come down, I ask lead guy how it is. He says rough, but passable. Not much help. They had just been crawling slowly over the rocks as they came down. Didn't look very easy for them, and they had four wheels.

    So caution to the wind, we start up. This is all 100% peg time. Slow, steady uphill grind. Searching every inch of the way for the proper line. More ATV's and UTV's coming down. Just barely enough room to pass, as you don't want to stop going uphill, and besides, there isn't a good place to stop in this area.

    Another third of a mile, and we see a safe place to pull off and allow another bunch of 4 wheelers come down. Lead guy stops to talk. I ask again, re conditions. "Rough, but we made it over the top". Again, not much help.

    Rich and I continue, but Brooks got into a spot he couldn't get a good restart from. Finally gets moving, picks a line, turns hard, and engine quits, which means if you're on pegs, it kind of throws you towards the front, and off balance, then you fall over like Arte Johnson on the tricycle on "Laugh-In". A short time later, Rich had the same experience. Picking up these 650's on these rocks is not fun. Basically, we had had enough fun and thought best to not hurt ourselves or our bikes, so we got turned around, and headed back down. "Mr Garmin" showed we had gotten to within .5 mile of the summit.

    Our hats off to all those who have made it over the top, it's not easy. Of course a nice light 250cc or a trials bike would put the fun back in the challenge....another time.

    We made it back, tired and sore..and headed for the hot tubs.

    Attached Files:

    #9
  10. ktm530russ

    ktm530russ Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    NorCal (The REAL California)
    Subscribed! Looks like you are having fun. Too bad you didn't get over Hancock pass, you were SO close!
    Great album, if you want to get some of them to show up in your posts, copy the URL for a photo from your album, then select the little yellow "picture" icon [​IMG] above the text box when you are posting (looks like a mountain and sun), then paste the URL into that popup.
    #10
  11. Doug329

    Doug329 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
    Monday 8/15/11, another beautiful day.Clear and cool at 8:00 AM (65 degrees). Quick breakfast, and prepare to leave at 9AM. As we prepare to leave the motel. Brooks is doing a last minute prep check on the Dakar, lights, turn-signals, lock to lock with steering to check for "kinks", etc. He turns to left, and engine stops. Re-starts, moves bars again left, engine stops again. Obviously an electrical short in a main wire to ignition.

    It's off with side panels, and the investigation starts. In about 20 minutes it's tracked to bundle coming from main ignition switch. After removing the wrappings, a red wire is found, totally broken. The ends were touching allowing contact, and ignition, but turning hard left, and it separates ever so little, but enough to stop motor. Luckily, there is just enough slack to splice the wire together, (saves running to auto parts store for new wire). This is also a good time to modify the factory attachment area for the wire harness, so more slack is available, to prevent this for happening again. Total time, one hour, and we're ready to roll.

    In hindsight, it is this stopped engine that most likely made Brooks flop yesterday, when he turned left hard, going over and around the rocks.

    Picked up TAT a few miles outside of Salida. Roads were good. Nice gravel, good running. Ran pretty much in the valleys, past ranches. Shortly after turning onto a narrow 2 track road, I noticed a sign marking an original stage coach route. I turned around and went back to learn more. Sign described crossing there of original stage line. A look to right revealed the original path going up slight grade and out of sight. Additional signage said trail was open to motorcycles and ATV's, but to stay on path etc. Would have loved to explore that a little, but just not time today.

    Gas/food stop was in Sargents, CO, at Tomichi Creek Trading Post. Restaurant and fuel available. We decided we didn't need fuel, but got something to drink, and sat outside in the shade. Four guys approached us, and started looking over bikes and asking questions. Seems they were from Texas, and hauled bikes up to this area, just to ride, and get away from the heat. They had parked on other side, and we hadn't seen their bikes when we pulled in. We talked for a while, and looked over their bikes; 2001 KLR, 1989 Honda Trans Alps, 2010 Suzuki DR400, and 2002 Honda XR650L. Quick group photo, and we all left within a few minutes.

    Continued on TAT, and soon found us heading up and over Cinnamon Pass. I'd guess last 8 miles we were on "pegs" most of the time. Lots of rocks, good grade, intense concentration on proper "lines". Quite a few 4 w/drives, ATV's, and UTV's. Many major sharp switchbacks, all upgrade.
    As I was about to round one, I looked up hill, checking for traffic coming down, picked what I thought was a good line, and started to roll on throttle. On pegs, going around corner, upgrade, rear tire hit some major loose gravel, and immediately spun out, dropping me and bike like I had hit a patch of ice. Engine guards and barkbusters did their job. No damage, no injuries. Rich pulled up behind me, and we set her up. Just then a Deputy comes down grade, stops to check on us, and talks for a brief time. He answers our questions about Engineers Pass, which is a leg off this route.

    Traffic coming up grade, so time to move out. No further problems as we reach top and stop to rest. We do the required photo opt, read the signs, and start downgrade. Another 6 or 8 miles and we come to an abandoned mining town. We all stop to rest and take some pictures. Really a lot of history here, great scenery, and information. Do to late start this AM because of the electrical problem,we decide not to go over California Pass,(next on this route), but to turn left and go down to Silverton, and pick up Rte 550 there. We took 550 North to Ouray, going over Red Mountain Pass (11,018 feet). Easy ride, as it's all pavement. Great "S" bends and curves down to 7700 foot level, and town of Ouray.

    We had reservation at Best Western. Many good places in Ouray, but 1st 5 I called were booked for tonight and tomorrow night. Best Western gave us an off site (3 blocks away) condo with 2 bedrooms, and a loft with Queen, and separate bath, for less than what others wanted for 2 rooms with queen beds.

    Quick clean up, a couple of cocktails, and we were off for Main Street (one block, uphill) and a little window shopping as we looked for a dinner place. It was 9PM already, and most stop serving at 9PM, except O'Brien' s Pub. We took an outside table and had a great dinner. Bowl of Irish beef stew, small salad, all of $7.50. Great service, neat place.
    Back to condo, and in bed by 10:30PM, all three of us pretty well whipped. I can't remember sitting and standing (on pegs) so many times, since the last Italian wedding I attended.

    Attached Files:

    #11
  12. dickosaurus

    dickosaurus Seasoned Noob

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    815
    Location:
    Lone Rabbit, Oklahoma
    Good stuff, Doug. Can't wait for more. We're heading out to do the CDR on Sat. so may not be able to keep up with your report for a few days. Good luck on the rest.
    #12
  13. Doug329

    Doug329 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
    Thanks Dickosaurus,

    You guys have a great ride...take notes, that ride is on my "list" for next year on the new Super Tenere. I'll try to get this report updated tonight after dinner.

    Later,
    Doug
    #13
  14. Doug329

    Doug329 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
    This will be our 2nd day in Ouray. At 0630AM, it was 51 degrees, and a clear mid 70's day is predicted.

    We did a few housekeeping chores, PM on the bikes, and about 0930AM, walked the two blocks up to the main hotel complex. Our goal was breakfast. We found a separate building, set up like a small restaurant, just for guests. (this sure beats camping at our age). There was a Chief at the omelet table, ready to make anything you wanted. Next table had everything from scrambles eggs, sausage, bread, bagels, juices, cereals, yogurt, fruit, coffee waiting. The big rush of diners had passed, so we had a leisurely breakfast. Big Rich made three trips for "refills"...just bound to get his money's worth,...which he did.

    About 11AM, we gas up (now 81 degrees), and start over the "back-road" between Ouray and Telluride. This takes you across Imogene Pass. "Mr Garmin" shows a total one way distance of about 16 miles. Local Jeep guy says a good 4 hour trip one way.

    The first 8 or 9 miles were pretty easy, usual uphill grade, narrow gravel road. About 2 miles up, I see a red Humvee on right shoulder, 4 passengers looking up the side hill. I start to pass, and tap the horn so driver knows. By this time all on-board were pointing cameras up hill. I looked that way to see what they were looking at..it was a small brown bear. First one I've seen out here.

    About mile 9, it gets tougher. Bigger rocks (some as big as VW's), a stream bed you ride for 200 feet before climbing out, roadbed is not gravel anymore, but hard base with rocks protruding up through the surface. Even evidence of metal rings being set in rock cracks that Jeeps can hook winch cable to, to pull them up over rock(s). If you could get a good line on flattest, smoothest side, we'd use it. Sometimes there was a line around the side of the rock. Probably a mile from top (Pass), we came across a BIG rock, Rich was in front, and took a line head-on, putting power to Honda just before his front tire hit rock...he shot up side, to flatter sloped area, and made it to flatter spot maybe 200 feet above rock...I on the other hand, have to ride a little faster than Honda, due to gearing, and couldn't get speed up before Rich went up rock, so I chose a line around right side. All was good till my rear tire hit smooth part (still a 20 plus degree uphill), and 606 lost traction. I could hear the tire spin, and smell the rubber burning, but my forward motion slowed quickly. Due to angle, front brake would not hold bike, and I slid backwards, maybe 25 feet before flopping over. Rich couldn't even see me, but had been waiting above for me. When he didn't see, or hear, me, he walked back down. With his help (again), the beast was raised, and we stood there resting. While we were there, a Jeep with three guys, comes down grade, (very slowly). Gets down rock, then stops to see if we're ok. I ask how the rest to Pass is, Their reply, "it gets rougher". We say Thanks, and they are off. A Jeep going up stops, same questions, same answers. One passenger says they wouldn't recommend going any further. We thanks them, and they continue. We get the bike headed down hill, and Rich walks back up to get his. We have now decided not worth hurting ourselves or bikes. We have too many miles left to travel.

    Now we're ready to head back way we came, and a solo biker is coming down grade. He stops. he looks pretty old. We talk. I'll call him biker Jack (we didn't get his name). We learn he has a full time home in Santa Fe, NM, and a cabin near Ouray, where he and his wife spend two months each summer. He's been riding these passes for years, and gives us a lot of good information on ones we've crossed, and attempted to cross. I look at his bike, and older Honda, early 90's, XR500. It has a close ratio gearbox, and a rear sprocket I'd guess at between 55 and 60 teeth. Now this is a bike designed for this type of riding. Either that or a good trials bike would be perfect.

    We bid farewell, as he pulls away, heading back to camp to check on his wife who he left behind "to stack firewood".

    We hadn't seen Brooks since shortly after we started, but find him at the condo when we get back, about 2PM. Turns out, he missed a turn to Telluride, off main trail, and when he discovered it, came back finding it, but looked at what we had already gotten into, and got smarter faster, and didn't follow our paths.

    The pictures will give you a decent idea of what we got into, but they never seem to convey the true grade of the trail. Always much steeper than it looks in a picture.

    About 4PM, we're rested, and decide to venture back up to Main Street for some window shopping, and find a place for dinner. We eventually seek refuge form the daily afternoon passing black cloud, in a business named Ouray Brewery. Lucky us.

    A fairly new business, we settle in at the bar. One side of the bar is equipped with swing seats. Rich immediately selects one. We however chose an old fashioned bar stool. We have a couple of beers (local), and then order from the menu. Brooks and I have the Trout on rice. It was delicious. Prices are reasonable. After dinner, we head across the street to the homemade chocolate and coffee store. Ice cream and coffee top off a great evening. Back at the condo, we do some emails, reading, and call lights out by 10PM..another tiring but good day.
    #14
  15. woodzrider

    woodzrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    626
    Location:
    Choctaw, Okla., anywhere I happen to be
    More pictures please! If you guyr tried Imogene pass from ouray then you took the hard way but once you get to the top the view is worth it all. The other side is a cake walk in comparison. You shouldn't have listened to the folk in the cages, as it is very doable on you current rides. Maybe next time?

    Keep the report coming.

    Hey Dickasaurus....Maybe we'll see you around Silverton when we get up there!
    #15
  16. Doug329

    Doug329 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
    8AM and another great breakfast at the Best Western, this time, we sat outside on the patio. Not long after sitting down, a beautiful Irish setter slowly approached the table, with sad (beggar) eyes, and just sat down between two of us. Never bothered us, just sat and stared, hoping something would fall to the patio stones. Turns out, it’s the Chief’s dog, and not allowed inside the building, so she “visits” the guests outside. You can only take so much of her pleasant demeanor before a small piece of biscuit find it’s way to her soft, gentle mouth.
    Happy dog.
    Following check out, a quick trip to post office to mail an item, and a little last minute shopping for the guys, we pulled out of Ouray at 0930AM. Of note, there were about 25 duel -sporters next door at the Quality Inn. All bikes supporting large black numbers on a red background. We learn they are on a 500 mile charity ride in the mountains of Colorado, an annual event.
    We head South on Hwy 550 (a/k/a Million Dollar Highway),
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_550 (Follow this link and read about the history of Rte 550, the “Million Dollar Highway”. Some good pictures are also there).
    for about 23 miles, then turn westerly onto a dirt/gravel county road. Shortly we see the signs for Ophir Pass, turn, and begin to ascend towards the top. It’s a one lane, dirt based road, with imbedded stones. A small number of switch backs, all with easy lines to follow. Up grade is reasonably steep all the way, meaning 1<sup>st</sup> and 2<sup>nd</sup> gear all the time. On the pegs near the top, and on a few tight turns, but e not a bad ride. At the top, no usual sign marking the “Pass”. It’s easy to know when you’re there, and a picture or two is taken to preserve the memory/view.
    Starting down immediately took us to the part of the pass that earns it a “moderate” rating in the 4 wheel drive books. Steep downgrade, and a hard right, and you’re looking at a rock ledge, barely wide enough for a Jeep. “ONE lane, no pull off, impossible to back up”. Book says to 4 wheelers; make sure no one is on ledge before starting up or down.
    Visibility is good, and all is clear as I do the ledge. The rest of the way is steep in parts, a couple of minor stream crossings (low water), and we get to the bottom, and the “Village” of Ophir.
    Interesting community. Big hand painted sign as you enter says;
    Pop 163
    Elevation 9600
    55 kids
    30+ dogs
    15+ cats
    Countless Avalanches, Enjoy our Town, Drive Slow
    We putt through slowly, in 2<sup>nd</sup> gear. Most all the homes are fairly new, but we do pass an old falling down log structure, probably from the days of the original town of Ophir. Total time from Ouray to West side of pass (at Town) was 1-1/2hours.
    Following the TAT, we did a short section of good dirt/gravel, then turned right onto CR 52. About 10 miles up (steady uphill grind), we turn left onto a hard rock based single lane, and after about 3 miles hit a multi strand barbed wire fence, right across the road. Obviously not a gate to be opened. We backtrack, and work our way around. We later determine, we were off TAT on that last section before fence, but were a little confused by roll chart instructions. No big deal. Mr. Garmin bailed us out again. We lost about two hours total when we missed a turn, or made one we shouldn’t have, so we cheated, and jumped on the hard road for a bit.
    Turns out, we were lucky in that it took us through the old Town of Rico, CO. Only about 2 city blocks long, it shows it’s age, but many of the Main Street building have been restored or kept in good original condition. We top up tanks at end of district, and then decide to stop for lunch. We ride back to center of Town, and spot a small restaurant called “Due South”. Looks kind of neat, so we go in. Great menu selections. Food was great, as we sat at large table and read the local newspaper while we ate. There was good cell phone coverage there, and Brooks was in touch with the shop in Moab, ordering tires and new fork seals for the Dakar. The past couple days of mountain passes, and rocky roads had done in the fork seals, now leaving no oil in the tubes, and a most uncomfortable ride.
    While Brooks used the phone, Rich had wandered outside (remember his nickname is Columbus), and discovered the local historical society museum, just two doors up, was open. Myself a history buff, and Rich always up to learning, we went inside. We were greeted by a nice elderly lady, who immediately asked if we wanted a narrated tour of the museum.
    She explains it was Silver Ore that put Rico on the map. Old pictures tell the story of the men and machines that made this Town one of the richest in the area, and thus the County seat. The mine eventually became one of the biggest in the State. Pretty much the only part still standing is a large vertical building, with large wheels on the outside near the top. This was the power station for the elaborate transportation system used to bring the ore down from the mountain to the main plant that once stood behind the museum building. The ore buckets traveled over a mile on this chair-lift device from mine to plant. Behind the main mine plant, was a steam railroad, where the processed ore was load.
    In the late 50’s, both the plant and railroad station were torn down due to liability. All that remains of the railroad is the original wooded water tower, and the wonderful pictures in the museum. Also in the museum are pictures of the areas famous Forest Ranger who was a true public servant to all the local population. The Town Marshall is captured in an old photograph with his posse of five men, as they head out in about 1880 to track down a murder suspect.
    The museum is actually in the original fire house, still having the original bell mounted on the roof. Inside are two rare horse drawn hose carts, and although not on display (there is a picture) there is an original horse drawn hook and ladder wagon. (The museum is working on obtaining it). What a nice experience we had in Rico. There is a small hotel, and several other places to eat, plus a gas station.
    Lunch break over, phone calls complete, time to “ride on”. We have motel reservations in Moab, so we took the hard road from Monticello to Moab so we wouldn’t get in too late. Plans are to double back and ride that section of the TAT from Monticello to Moab tomorrow.

    Attached Files:

    #16
  17. Doug329

    Doug329 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
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Pretty sorry and poor. So uninteresting, I went back to room and had another cup of coffee.
    We were at the front door of Moab Power Sports when they opened at 9AM.
    They take Rich’s Honda right in. Tires changed and out the door in less than an hour. We hang around for a few minutes as Doricca and Austin take time and give us direction and suggestions for some rides out in the Cannyon Lands area. Rich and I are going out and explore.
    While we were outside, a guy approaches us, looks at bikes, and asks if we’re doing TAT. We say yes, “are you”? He introduces himself; Rick Stevens from TN. (Has his DR650 in shop for a little work.) Explains he did TAT a few years back, and is on his way to Salt Lake City to meet his boss. He does some guiding for a company, and they had several people coming in to tour the area, on road bikes.
    By now, Rich and I are getting hungry, so we ask the staff for a recommendation on a good breakfast spot. Moab Diner on Main St. (Rte 191) next to Woody’s Bar near corner of 100 East Street. We adjourn the conversation to there.
    Great menu, super breakfast, fair prices. Talk about a small world..Rick was telling us about a friend who broke his leg in OK last fall while riding the TAT. I ask, Was he from FL? Rick looks surprised, and says yes. I said well Brooks fell in the same spot when we came through there. Rick said when his friend called from hospital and told him about his bike being stored at the ranchers house, Rick told him he wasn’t too far away at the time, and swung by there to check on it for him. Ranchers name is Brad Stevens (no relation).
    We parted ways after breakfast and Rich and I headed out to Hurrah Pass. Only about 22 miles one way, it took us almost an hour with all the stopping for pictures along the way. Ride was not difficult. No traffic at all. Only saw two guys on ATV’s while out there.
    Road was dry, hard packed gravel, and spots of pure flat rock. Some peg time, but nothing serious. About 5 stream crossings, but all dry today. Lots of beautiful red rocks.
    On way back, more traffic was heading out into the area. Many tour company vehicles. One convoy consisted of about four window vans, and a truck at end, towing a small trailer with a porta-potty tied onto it. Wish I could have gotten a picture, I’d tag it, “someone always has to bring up the rear”.
    Since it was supposed to be a rest day, we returned to hotel. Brooks went out and got a haircut, and ran a few errands. Rich went to the pool, I did pictures and ride report.
    Brooks took Dakar up to Moab Powersports later in afternoon, and left it. They would have bike apart and ready for tires arrival in AM. The great people there will run you back to motel, and come get you if needed, when bike is ready..Super Service.
    We ventured next door to Denny’s for dinner, having a pretty good “senior special”.
    Upon return to motel, I notice a young lad working on his KTM, not far from where we are parked. Short introductions and we learn Brian and his friend Billy are also doing the TAT. Both are from Northern Michigan, Upper Peninsula. Brian explains they came due south, and started in Salida, CO. Their goals is OR, then catch a plane back home from Portland, bikes going on as air freight. Brian explains his 540 will fit in a medium create, by taking wheels off, and maybe bars. Billy’s big 990 has to go in Large container, at a cost of $1000.00. Brian’s I think he said his was about $600.00. I do remember him saying his ticket was under $150.00.
    I’ve kind of lost track of the days and specific places we’ve been in past week, but did ask if they did Cinnamon Pass. Brian says yes, but they got separated at Animas Forks. Brian went down to Silverton, Billy went over Engineer Pass, and dumped, (which we had heard of that day). So we must have been there same day, and never saw them.

    Time to call it a night. Picture shows Rich at top of Hurrah Pass, looking over Kane Valley.

    Attached Files:

    #17
  18. Doug329

    Doug329 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
    TAT Day 10 8-19-11

    Today, Rich says good-bye to us, and will start a leisurely ride back to Western, NY. Last night we worked a little on his route, and decided we’d tour Arches National Park this AM before he heads NE.


    We again walk down to the “Less than Super” 8 breakfast nook. It looks like a cattle feed lot. No less than 100 people in a room good for 50. We grabbed a juice and mini-doughnut (main star attraction food item), and went out by pool for a quiet seat.

    We were dressed and ready to roll out on the bikes by 8:15AM. The park is only a few miles North of us on Rte 191. As we started to pull out, we noticed Billy and Brian heading toward the exit also.

    What happened next was totally unexpected, and scary.

    I saw Billy pull out onto Rte 191, Brian close behind. As they approached the light at 500 street, 200 feet away, it was just changing from red to green. No cars in front of them, or behind. All of a sudden I saw Billy’s brake light go on, just as Brian’s head looked to left for a second. Bingo, Brian’s tire hit Billy’s rear wheel, and immediately his KTM stood up on its rear wheel, and just as fast, slammed back to the road, throwing Brian over the bars, and the KTM immediately falling onto its left side. Before I could get my bike stopped, Brian was getting up, shaking it off. Kind of dazed, but apparently okay. He picked his KTM right up, and we pushed it onto the shoulder. There we picked up a couple of plastic parts, and Billy determined they were from his right rear turn signal unit. Some duct tape repairs, and they were ready to roll. What a scare. He was totally saved from injury due to good protective gear. Only damage Brian’s KTM suffered was a slightly bend handlebar and his high intensity headlight broke loose from the handlebar mount.

    We saw them up in the park several times during the morning, and Brian assured me each time he was okay. Lucky, Lucky, Lucky.

    Arches National Park is really a beautiful and unusual place. We ride all the way to the northern most end of the park, Devils Garden, stopping numerous times for pictures, and short walks. We saw all the highlighted spots, Balanced Rock, Courthouse Towers, Three Gossips, Petrified Dunes, Delicate Arch, Sand Dune Arch, and many more. Mother Nature with her wind and rain has sculptured these beautiful sandstone formations over eons of time. We don’t have eons of time to hike the trails to better vantage points, but our memories are pushed to the max with all the wonderful sights. We’ll have to rely on the digital images captured today to enhance our own memories when we get back home.

    By 11Am, we’re heading back out the way we came in. The morning tourist traffic is now in full gear as hundreds are arriving to an already well attended park. Glad we got there early.

    Good-bye to Rich as he heads off North on Rte 128, and I return to motel.

    During lunch, Brooks gets a call his bike is ready. We retrieve the Dakar, and say good bye to the great crew at Moab Powersports.
    It’s in the mid 90’s now, and really too hot to start a ride, so we return to the motel, dig out some extra clothes we don’t need, and ship packages home. We decide we’ll head out early in the AM (when it’s cooler) and make up that section of the TAT we missed, and then continue onto Green River for tomorrow night.

    Dinner next door at Denny’s again, make reservations in Green River, and lights out.

    Attached Files:

    #18
  19. Doug329

    Doug329 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
    [FONT=&quot]Sat 8-20-11
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Breakfast at 800 AM, next door at Denny&#8217;s. We&#8217;ll be on the road by 830 AM, heading South on 191, to do a section we missed coming into Moab. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]We turn off onto Rte 46 E, and continue on a paved road for about 7 miles. Now onto a road named 2 mile road, and we are headed to Geyser Pass. We see a large &#8220;bald&#8221; mountain to our front, thinking it to be Geyser, but it is named Mt Peale (12,721 feet). We are in the La Sal Mountain Range, and actually in a National Park . Further investigation reveals Geyser Pass cuts between Mt Peale and Mount Waas (12,391 feet). The road is hard base gravel, but small to medium sized rocks are loose on the surface. A few steep switchbacks and some required peg time, but nothing too serious. I don&#8217;t think we ever got above 11k feet as we passed through many Aspen stands.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Today must be cow day, as we see many. Some in the road, most along side. Mostly solid black, they seem pretty uninterested, and are not nearly as jumpy or nervous as some in the past days. This road is pretty well traveled by ATV&#8217;s, and I think they are used to the recreational vehicles.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]I knew we were getting close to the top, but never saw a sign from our direction saying so. I did see a large sign near the intersection of two roads and turned around to read it. Top line said Geyser Pass, marking the top. Less than 100 feet later, the estimated 10 mile downgrade began. Now we were on the Western side of Mt. Peale, and totally in its shadow. Temp had dropped to mid 60&#8217;s. Many small camping areas in this area, all filled with RV&#8217;s, with ATV&#8217;s, UTV&#8217;s parked at the ready. Obviously a large hiking and ATV area on the weekends.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]A few more miles, and we re-enter the morning sun again. Temps rise as altitude falls. Next turn was onto Sand Flats Rd., which would take us the almost 35 miles back to Moab. This road would take us in, around, and over many beautiful sandstone formations, as the road twisted and changed altitude frequently.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Next thing we knew, we came into Moab , almost in the center of town. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Back to the motel, we made it in plenty of time to load up, and check out by the 12 noon deadline.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]We immediately set out to do the section from Moab to Green River. North on 191, past Arches National Park, we went about 5 miles, and turned left on a dirt road, signs indicating we were headed towards Gemeni Bridges.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]This road immediately began climbing from our current 4600 ft elevation to 4900, through a series of steep, rocky switch backs. Totally 1<sup>st</sup> gear, stand on pegs riding. It did level off, and we rode a ridge cut into the mountain side, with totally awesome views to the East and South. We dropped into a narrow canyon, and continued several miles till we started to climb again. First switch back was sand and loose rock covered, and steep. We made it but not before rearranging some of the loose rocks.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Road levels off, and we find ourselves riding on solid rock shelves, with little 8 to 10inch ledges every 10 to 20 feet. Up, down, up down, all in 1<sup>st</sup> gear at an average speed of 8mph. I glance down at the GPS, it shows next turn about 7.8 miles away. I groan, and ask myself, &#8220;are we having fun yet&#8221;. By the way, it&#8217;s in the 90&#8217;s now..and going this slow doesn&#8217;t help. I feel the fan kick on and the &#8220;extra&#8221; warm air is pushed back past my legs.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]I talk to myself as I bounce along&#8230;&#8221;Is this really a road? &#8220; &#8220;Where does Sam find these?&#8221;, &#8216;Why is this road here anyway?&#8221;&#8230;Oops, sharp uphill turn, over solid rock, pick a line&#8230;oh shoot, here come five mountain bikers, downgrade, paying no attention to me (who has right of way), as I try to keep up forward motion on the steep rock shelves. Crazy guys..they are nuts.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Eventually this drops off the high mesa, and down onto a pretty good dirt/gravel road, with some large areas of very soft sand to keep you alert. Next turn is onto Dubinky Well Road. No I didn&#8217;t make that up. Maybe about five miles later, I round a curve, and an old fashioned windmill appears before me. I slow, I look, I stop. I read an informational plaque, and do my picture thing.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Plaque explains windmill and open top water containment system were built in 1937 by CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). It was built to get water for cattle grazing on this public land, to take the grazing pressure off other lands that had water already. Original water troughs still there. Windmill has 16 foot wide blade radius, much bigger than normal. Reason is to provide extra power needed to get water up from 500 foot deep well.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Elevation continues to drop and we find ourselves riding in almost desert conditions. Many dry creek beds, some with soft sand to keep it interesting. Another ten miles or so, and we cross I-70. End up on old US Hwy 50, which we take West to Green River.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]We check into small family run motel called Robbers Rost. Old motel, clean rooms, all we need, good air, microwave, small refrig, cable TV, Wi-Fi, all for less than $50.00 including taxes.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Four decent restaurants within walking distance and an ice cream shop. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]We walk down Main, and see lots of cars at Ray&#8217;s Tavern. Place is packed. Food is very good. Whole dinner, with everything, $10.00.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Lights out by 10pm&#8230;[/FONT]

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    #19
  20. Doug329

    Doug329 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
    KTM530Russ,

    Thanks for the tip on insert photo. I will try it tonight. Didn't know each photo in album had a specific URL..




    #20